BULACAN officials led by Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando called on Bulakenyos to fully support ongoing peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), saying this will help propel the country’s growth and stability.
Alvarado and Fernando also signed the “Manipesto ng Pagkakaisa sa Kapayapaan (Bulacan para sa Makatarungang Kapayapaan)” with leaders of militant groups, Catholic priests and farmers’ organizations during the “Talakayan Patungkol sa Peace Talks” held at the Francisco Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in Malolos City on Tuesday afternoon.
Alvarado said Bulakenyos are a freedom-loving people who support the peace initiatives of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He added that having been mayor of Hagonoy, a coastal town in Bulacan that was once the hotbed of communist insurgency and the site of many skirmishes between government forces and the New People’s Army in the 1980s and 1990s, he saw and felt the tragedy of Filipinos killing one another.
“Let us support the aim of our President to achieve real justice and lasting peace [in our country]. It may be difficult sometimes but there is dignity and respect in the strategies of our beloved President,” Alvarado said in Pilipino.
He called on the League of Municipalities-Bulacan chapter headed by Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. to spread the crusade to the different villages in their respective municipalities and cities as well.
Fernando said the Sanguniang Panglalawigan has passed a resolution declaring that the province of Bulacan is fully supporting the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP.
The peace crusade of the provincial officials immediately got a positive response from various groups including the Plaridel-based “Yes for Peace” Movement.
Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer of Yes for Peace–Bayanihan ng Bayan para sa Mapayapa, Maunlad at Masaganang Pilipinas, commended the Bulacan governor and vice governor for taking steps to boost the peace efforts of President Duterte, saying this should be duplicated in other provinces so that people can have a part in the ongoing peace negotiations.
At the same time, Alcanzare announced that Career Service executives from different government agencies are also supporting the governor’s call and the openness and transparency of the ongoing peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP.
Alcanzare’s group is an offshoot of Yes for Peace – Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran at Kasaganahan, a non-government-initiated peace education and advocacy campaign supported and implemented by government agencies led by the Department of Education, the Philippine Postal Corporation, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine News Agency, Philippine Broadcast System and Radio Television Malacanang.
Marilao parish priest Rolly de Leon in Bulacan said with the ongoing peace talks “hope springs eternal” for the ending of the decades-old armed conflict between the government and local communists.
Farmer Danilo Ramos of Union ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura lauded Alvarado and Fernando for initiating the peace crusade, saying this will help in bringing genuine reforms that would alleviate poverty especially in the countryside.